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The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)

A juvenile offender at a tough reform school impresses its governor with his running ability and is encouraged to compete in an upcoming race, but faces ridicule from his peers.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (short story)
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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
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Avis Bunnage ...
Mrs. Smith
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Roach
Dervis Ward ...
Detective
Topsy Jane ...
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Storyline

A rebellious youth, sentenced to a boy's reformatory for robbing a bakery, rises through the ranks of the institution through his prowess as a long distance runner. During his solitary runs, reveries of his life and times before his incarceration lead him to re-evaluate his privileged status as the Governor's prize runner. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 October 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rebel with a Cause  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Real borstal inmates were used as extras, primarily in the riot scene. Walter Lassally: "The mix was so good that you couldn't--unless you knew that this is an actor and this is an extra and this is a Borstal boy--you couldn't tell. The only time you could tell was at lunchtime, because they were absolutely ravenous. It looked like in the Borstal they were never properly fed because they were always looking. If you'd finished your dinner and you'd left something on your plate, they'd say, can I have that? ... They participated with great glee in the riot." See more »

Goofs

When the boys are doing gardening work one character calls another "you mug" (meaning gullible idiot). This is incorrectly recorded in the subtitles as "you muppet" but the word "muppet" - meaning an idiot - was not in use when the film was made. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Colin Smith: Running was always a big thing in our family, specially running away from the police. It's hard to understand. All I know is that you've got to run, running without knowing why, through fields and woods. And the winning post's no end, even though the barmy crowds might be cheering themselves daft. That's what the loneliness of a long distance runner feels like.
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Connections

Referenced in La solitude du chanteur de fond (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Rhona Roy Dresses (TV Advertisement)
(uncredited)
Music by Johnny Johnston
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User Reviews

A magnificent unappreciated film
9 August 2002 | by (Scottsdale, Arizona (USA)) – See all my reviews

I recently watched this movie again on TV. The wonderful performances by Tom

Courtenay and Michael Redgrave have not diminished with time. The movie is

also full of technical innovations at the time. One of these is common today, a fast switching between the two time frames of the story. The life of the hero in a quasi-prison and the family life that led to his capture and conviction. The movie also predates the current of "Angry Young Men" that was to be so prolific in

British Cinema. Others have remarked on the wondrous scenes of Courtenay

running in open countryside as he trains for a long distance competition. The accompaniment of a jazz trumpet also fit well. But to me the core of the movie is the rage of the hero towards the "establishment" beautifully symbolized by

Michael Redgrave's Headmaster. Don't miss this movie if you have a chance.


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